I’ve never written a sequel before. It’s a terrifying thought. Which perhaps makes it all the more appropriate that the plot which often disturbs my dreams is a sequel to my young adult comedic ghost story, Haunting Miss Trentwood.
I haven’t been able to make it out to my writer’s group due to my hectic schedule, but I wanted to share a scene with you.
– – – – –
It took the panicked prodding of the young miss beside Mr. Jasper Steele to yank him from his bored reverie. Their hands were clasped, and it took him a moment to remember where he sat.
“May I help you?” he hissed, his pale moustache twitching.
The little brunette, who reminded him a great deal of a former interest, squeaked and nodded in the direction she meant him to look. Mr. Steele looked up to find a fetching young lady floating above the round table as if lifted by her torso like a cloth doll. It was Miss Sewell, the daughter of their hostess. She rotated in air like a suspended top, rotating until stopping to face him. Her upside-down, unseeing stare sent chills down his back. The young lady beside him whimpered.
Fortunately, or unfortunately, for Mr. Steele, this was not his first haunting.
“Ah,” he said. He cleared his throat. “I do beg your pardon. I was… otherwise engaged. Might I help you?”
The séance participants, already on edge, inhaled in unison.
Miss Sewell blinked one eye, then the other. Her soft blonde locks began to fall from their careful coifs, the curls sweeping the table. “Jasper Ssssteele.”
Mr. Steele nodded. “You have the right of it, that’s my name.”
The girl beside him trembled so violently, they almost broke their handshake.
“Do not release his hand!” Dame Hartwell, their séance guide, said.
Jasper gripped the girl’s hand, glaring at her, daring her to let go.
“Jasper Steele,” Miss Sewell said again, far more clearly.
Mr. Steele’s mouth ran dry.
“You must help her,” said Miss Sewell’s unnaturally deep, echoing voice.
“Help whom do what?”
Miss Sewell blinked, her expression clearing, starting to show a moment of horror. “My sister,” she whispered. With a quiet gasp, she crashed to the table, unleashing everyone’s screams finally.
Lady Sewell rose from the table, trying to calm her guests, who all ran from the room as if on fire.
Mr. Steele frowned. He leaned forward. “You don’t have a sister,” he said to the prone Miss Sewell.
“I did,” she said before fainting.